Community Environment News

Two in Tow & On the Go: Getting out of the house

Posted on March 9th, 2023 By:

From left: Me, Wyatt, and Clara at Puyallup’s Pioneer Park, 2022.

You know more about us now that we’re on my fifth column here at everyone’s favorite news site. Like how I’m a sucker for a historical throwback, my love language involves a fenced-in playground, Clara and Wyatt are officially willing to forgo swings for forests, and our approach to kiddo safety may be a bit dramatic

But before spotlighting our next outing, why not take this getting-to-know-us stage a step further? 

Don’t worry; I won’t make it weird. 

I will, however, let you in on a little secret: I’m not … very outdoorsy. Ugh. There. I said it. It’s terrible, I know! But man, it feels good to come clean. You won’t find articles from me on our “Top 5 Kayak Paddles” or “Rad Rockclimbing Rendezvous.” But with any luck, you will find relatability, a good laugh if you DM me on Instagram, and a virtual nod from one human to another as we all try to soak up the moments life so relentlessly tells us are fleeting. 

So why do I have a kiddo adventure blog, you ask?

That first blog post

Let’s have the Tonya from seven years ago tell you all about it, the one who was all young and wrinkle-free, in our @two.n.tow debut post from 2017:

“I started this blog because sometimes you just have to get out of the house.

The days when you’re a short-order cook/nonstop cleaner-upper/sibling referee. 

The days when you have to brush your teeth in the kitchen because the small children stick their hands in the toilet every chance they get. 

The days when you just can’t even. 

So I mad-grab for little person shoes, socks, snacks, and waters, click the kids in their car seats, and GO. 

And we go to lots of places. Some successful, some not. And yeah, it’ll probably suck getting there. The kids might cry for most of the car ride (mine do). You’ll have to listen to the same 16 nursery rhymes on repeat. Your toddler will whine for the snack you don’t have, can’t reach, or is the one thing you brought for yourself.

But you’re going somewhere. 

You’re trying. 

You’re making memories. 

There’s laughter and sweet pudgy hands holding yours, and you feel all the parenting feels.

My idea with this blog is to show you our adventures and tell it like it is. I’ll share the good, the bad, and the just plain crazy on those no-nap days. I’ll post pictures and all the outing deets so you have what you need to try the adventure, too.

Overall, I’ll show you that the struggle to raise kids is real for all of us, but there’s still a ton of fun out there. And you’ll feel better when you get out. Promise.”

Getting out of the house

Moments from 2017

I wrote that segment about a year into slogging through my new stay-at-home-mom journey with newborn Wyatt and 2-year-old Clara in tow. (See what I did there?)

After stepping back from the newsroom, I probably lasted approximately 243.5 days (give or take) of not writing anything more than a disjointed text message from the toilet before I was just about to go completely insane. Plus, have you ever tried folding laundry during a double nap strike?

So I started this blog. (Fun Fact: At the beginning, Two In Tow was entirely on Facebook using albums and captions as mini-guides that I tapped in one-handed from my iPhone during the only naps Wyatt ever took because I was holding him the entire time.)

Fresh air is better 

Windy hair, don’t care. At least no one is crying, 2017

I landed on places to take kids not because I was an avid traveler, passionate nature gal, or even the least bit crunchy. You’ll never find me camping overnight without a shower, backpacking through the canyons (though that does sound pretty), or, sport fishing from a kayak.

Rather, I landed on this blog because I just needed to get out of the house. I knew fresh air made our days better. The kids seemed happier. I seemed happier. The atmosphere around us felt lighter as I stole little moments to watch the bright and curious look in 2-year-old Clara’s eyes when she spotted birds, bugs, or twigs. And when Wyatt smiled as the afternoon breeze brushed across his wittle chubby baby cheeks. The days weren’t perfect but then again I had unlimited access to caffeinated beverages by drive-thru. For whatever reason, ditching the four walls of our living room (and all those piles of unfolded laundry) in favor of literally being anywhere else was everything back then.

And seven years later, it still is.

(Plus, I really love unlocking the lesser-known kid-friendly destinations and their backstories. It’s my superpower.)

Until next time!


Stay tuned next time for Clara and Wyatt’s experience using boat tools at Gig Harbor BoatShop’s Young Hands, New Skills class. This activity features various stations for hands-on ship caulking, hammering boat nails, using a spokeshave, hand-sawing, and more via one-on-one instruction with volunteers.


Ages: 6 to 12

Cost: $10 per child (or $8 per child for Gig Harbor BoatShop members). 

When: Friday, March 17*. Available start times are staggered by 30 minutes, and it takes approximately one hour to complete all the stations. (Start times are available at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11 a.m. as of Thursday, March 9. We signed up for the 11 a.m. slot.) Book online here

Address: 3805 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor. Enter the lower level by the dock. 

Info: Call (253) 857-9344 | email [email protected] | visit online

 *Peninsula School District students have no school district-wide on March 17 for the trimester break, according to the district calendar. Check with your school office to confirm. March 17 is also St. Patrick’s Day!


Mom and two kids standing with water and boats in the background.


Tonya Strickland is a Gig Harbor mom-of-two, longtime journalist, and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. Her blog, Two in Tow & On the Go, was recently named among the 10 Seattle-Area Instagram Accounts to Follow by ParentMap magazine. Tonya and her husband Bowen recently moved to Gig Harbor from California with their two kids, Clara (9) and Wyatt (7). When they’re not adventuring, Tonya stays busy navigating how umbrellas are unacceptable life choices now, giant house spiders exist but only in September, and that salted parking lots are absolutely not weird at all. Find her on Instagram  and Facebook  for all the kid-friendly places in and around Gig Harbor.